Alabama Supreme Court tells judges to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered probate judges in the state to stop issuing licenses for same-sex marriages.
In February, a federal court decision in Mobile County had cleared the path for same-sex marriages to begin in the state.
The 134-page order Wednesday was supported by six justices. One dissented and another concurred to most of the opinion and in total to the result.
Marriage is between one man and one woman under Alabama law, the order states.
“Alabama probate judges have a ministerial duty not to issue any marriage license contrary to this law. Nothing in the United States Constitution alters or overrides this duty,” it says.
Probate judges have five business days to respond to the order if they don’t think they are bound to uphold it.
“Same-sex couples in #Alabama should not lose hope because of out-of-step Supreme Court ruling; #marriage fight is far from over. #ALMarriage,” tweeted Equality Alabama.
The Liberty Counsel, which filed an emergency petition to the state’s Supreme Court said on its website that “the ruling of the Alabama Supreme Court offers the most forceful and clearly articulated rebuttal to date of the imaginative arguments for same-sex “marriage” employed by federal courts.”
In his dissent, Justice Greg Shaw wrote that he didn’t think the case was properly filed nor did the court have jurisdiction. He also said the public interest groups involved in the case cannot sue in Alabama’s name.
Shaw added that the federal courts should have stayed an order striking down Alabama’s marriage law until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on it this fall.